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A little Casati history / info
The following info comes from two advertising supplements included with Velonews and Inside Triathlon, from 1996 and 1997:
- Gian Luigi Casati began working for his father Pietro in the shop when he was ten. At the time of writing (1996) Gian Luigi had spent 53 years working in the shop, so it appears he began around 1943. Unfortunately, it does not state when his papa began his torching career. However, in the 1997 article (which would've been Gian Luigi's 54th year) it's stated the company was 75 years old; my admittedly questionable math skills puts the genesis around 1925 or so.
- As of 1996, Casati was producing around 1250 frames per year, 90% of which were custom fitted to clients. The frames were available from sizes 49cm to 70cm, even offered in half-sizes.
- Conceived a completely internal cable routing system in 1995 - even the seat binder bolt, similar to the old Legnano design, but much more refined.
- In 1997 his sons Massimo and Luca were being groomed to continue the business. It's my guess they are probably running the show today.
- Casati acknowledges there is no way they could afford to sponsor a major professional team, however, he did sponsor Gianni Bugno back in his amateur days due to a "strong sense of municipal pride". Bugno hailed from the Monza area.
- His shop team numbered exactly 7, including himself, in 1996. Amazingly enough, the customer turnaround time was stated as four to six weeks for a U.S. delivery, start to finish.
- Gian Luigi's personal credo seems to have been "form follows function". Even in the heyday of fades and graphics, he preferred single color paint schemes to accentuate the details in the workmanship of the metal underneath.